What Did You Learn From Your Family About Work?

Photo: Santheo
0 Unfavorites Layer-visible-off
0 5 2028

My dad’s favorite saying is “Work is work. If it was fun, everyone would do it.” Growing up I must’ve heard this quote, along with numerous other Republicanisms, a million times. Almost everything I know about hard work I learned from my dad, and I continue to admire his entrepreneurial spirit and creative talents. Recently, however, I have begun to question the idea of whether work should be “fun” or not, and have come to the conclusion like so many other changemakers out there that work should be the point where passion, purpose, and proficiency meet. I believe that Echoing Green’s “Work on Purpose” initiative is beautifully brilliant, and that innovation and progress come when people decide to stop doing the obvious or expected and start doing the impossible. 

Answered over 2 years ago caitbold 4 from unknown


For me, my family taught me the power of immersion and consistency into something you believe.  Magic does not happen overnight.  It often takes a lifetime or at least a career to turn initiative into contribution into, if we are fortunate, legacy. 

I’m also constantly curious about family and work ethic education and ask that question to many of my interviewees in my career interview series Capture Your Flag.  Here I ask Austin Center for Design (AC4D) founder Jon Kolko (@jkolko) this question and I love his response

Answered over 2 years ago erik michielsen 5 from United States
over 2 years ago linda kay klein said:

Thanks for sharing this Erik!

over 2 years ago erik michielsen said:

@linda kay klein you are welcome :)


People in my family do many kinds of work, from neurobiology to piano tuning, but no matter what the job, my relatives are passionate about their work. My grandma didn’t love being a hospital phone operator in a windowless room in New Orleans, but she knew her work was essential in providing the best care possible to patients. Even on the worst days, she would remember how important her mind numbing work was to saving lives. Finding the positive things, and focusing on them, no matter what the task at hand may be, is what I’ve learned from my family about work.  

Answered over 2 years ago tallybower 289 3 from United States
over 2 years ago linda kay klein said:

Beautiful photo.


My parents taught me to work hard, and never, ever waste time.

When my mom couldn’t sleep in the middle of the night, she got up and scrubbed the floor, spread out on the dining room table and graded papers, or drew a giant Snoopy for her third grade classroom’s bulletin board.  Waking in the middle of the night and going for a glass of water, I would find her there, the one dim light in the house shining down on  her hunched shoulders and tightly bit lip.

Over the years, I learned to do the same with sleepless time.  In fifth grade, I wrote my first novel about a character named Cathy L Clue (whose name was suspiciously similar to my own).  I made newspapers, wrote songs, and created wildly detailed plans for my future.  All in the middle of the night.  It’s amazing what a little insomnia and a good strong Protestant work ethic can do for your productivity.

This days, however, I work hard not to work so hard.  Productivity isn’t everything.  There’s also this thing called peace, and this incredibly wonderful thing called sleep that I’ve come to realize I can’t do without.  Even my parents began to see what their hard work was doing to me.  So in Junior High, they began to encourage me NOT to get As, while other parents encouraged their kids to go for A+s.  And we all started to sleep a little more. 

Answered over 2 years ago linda kay klein 142 4 from United States


Do the work with devotion& emotion with concentration. It dosen’t matter what the work is . Just do it with love.

Answered over 2 years ago csmritimoy 2 from India